OVERVIEW: The Cotsen Vision of Excellent Teaching

The Cotsen vision of excellent teaching addresses the four building blocks of the teaching and learning process: how CONTENT is presented, the ROLES that teacher and students play in the learning process, the specific learning ACTIVITIES they engage in, and the overall classroom CULTURE.

Ø  An excellent teacher presents CONTENT that is structured to engage all students in thinking and clearly addresses disciplinary standards.

Ø  An excellent teacher takes the ROLE of facilitator or coach of the learning process, building student ownership for their learning.

Ø  An excellent teacher designs learning ACTIVITIES that elicit student thinking and adjusts instruction in response.

Ø  An excellent teacher builds a classroom CULTURE of joy, engagement, and supportive community.

Within those four building blocks, this Cotsen vision includes 10 specific domains of teaching excellence.

The table below provides guiding questions that teachers can ask themselves to reflect on their practice in each of these areas, as well as examples of specific practices that support excellence in the domain.